Do you like what you do?

According to a recent Gallup Poll, 80% of people cannot give a hearty “yes” to this question.

Most people are are waiting for the bell to ring to get off on Friday and dreading going back to work on Monday. The stress hormone Cortisol is released more frequently in those people who dislike their work. This raises blood pressure and damages our bodies. Maybe that’s the reason more heart attacks happen on Mondays.

Not surprisingly, people who dislike their work are twice as likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression over the next year. And people who enjoy their work have significantly lower cholesterol, triglycerides and higher levels of happiness and well being.

Studies show that the #1 person people do not want to be around is their boss or manager. If your manager ignores you, there is a 40% chance that you’re disengaged from the workplace. If your manager focuses on your weaknesses, you’re 22% unhappy with the workplace, and if your manager primarily focuses on your strengths you’re 99% likely to be happy with your work.

In my informal study on Facebook, I asked people “Do you like what you do?” It was very delightful to hear from a radiologist, “Yes, I love my job!”, from a financial advisor, “Yes, I look forward going to work each day”, from an office manager, “Yep, I love my job, stress and all”, from a photographer, “Yes, I get to capture people’s memories”, and from two massage therapist who said, “Love, Love, Love my job, I get to relieve people’s stress and make them feel better.”

When my wife and I were sitting on the deck enjoying a glass of wine we discussed on a scale of 1-10 how much we loved our work. My first thought was–it’s a 9 for me. I absolutely love counseling, coaching, and inspiring people through speaking. I pray you are in the top 20% who say, “Yes, I like what I do.”

Quick ideas to boost your work happiness:

  1. Build towards a career doing what you love, whether it’s on a week day or the weekend.
  2. Build a good relationship with your boss or manager. Along with this build at least one close friend in your work setting.
  3. Build a career around flowing in your strengths. Of course that means you need to discover and have a language for your strengths.

Coaching Points:

  1. On a scale from 1-10 (10 being the best) how much do you like your work? What needs to happen to make it better?
  2. How could you increase trust and compassion with your boss or manager?
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